Texas Hill Country Wineries Tasting Stop: Hawk’s Shadow Where a Bad Boy Blend Comes with Good Views and Charm

For starters, Hawk’s Shadow Winery is located near Dripping Springs in the Texas Hill Country, and yet is just 30 miles from downtown Austin. This is where owners Doug Reed, Tom Reed, and Chip Conklin have prepared their estate with over seven acres of hill top and hillside vineyards. This area is the craggy and eroded edge of the Edward’s plateau that was elevated by the Balcones Fault around 10 to 15 million years ago.

Doug Reed, Tom Reed, and Chip Conklin

Things started for Hawk’s Shadow in 2005 with the owners’ vision of making wine made from Italian, Spanish and southern French grape varieties. In 2013, the winery opened its tasting room complete with a wine cave carved underground from limestone and rock. It is used for aging wine in oak barrels and for tastings, and is an incredible venue to behold.

What to See at Hawk’s Shadow Winery

Arriving at Hawk’s Shadow yields a commanding view of the Estate Vineyards below along with nature preserves, ranches and watersheds extending westward to Pedernales Falls State Park. It is here you can take in the bird’s eye beauty of the Texas Hill Country and relax at a shaded table with your selected Hawk’s Shadow wines. And also, please do not forget to step down into the wine cave.

Hawk’s Shadow Hillside Vineyard

What We are Tasting Today

This tasting stop features a big, bold Hawk’s Shadow wine selected from the winery’s portfolio of Texas wines. This is a wine portfolio that features both their estate grape varieties and grapes from Texas growers in the hill country and high plains.

Hawk’s Shadow Winery 2018 Bad Boy Red Blend – I previously said that this featured wine was big and bold and that might be an understatement as there is a lot going on in this wine. It is a dark and juicy wine with macerate blackberry, cherry and herbs predominant in a vibrant aroma. The aroma is followed on the palate with a compote of ripe dark fruit (black cherry and blackberry) that exudes a jammy character so rich in fruit that it seems like it could be spread on toast or used as a cover for French vanilla ice cream. Other notes of licorice and vanilla are interwoven as the tasting proceeds into its mid-palate and crisp finish. All this, and it comes with a very comfortable 13.0% ABV.

Hawk’s Shadow Winery 2018 Bad Boy Red Blend

The blend is predominantly southern French grapes led by Mourvèdre, Syrah and Tannat (in decreasing order of amount) and totaling about 80 percent of the wine. These are combined with Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot that bring more dark fruit and structure, filling out the final 20 percent. While this wine is labeled Texas appellation (not requiring it to be all Texas juice), as clearly stated on the label, this wine is made from 100% Texas grapes. This suggests that it likely includes fruit from more than one region (e.g. Texas high plains and hill country or non-AVA area).

Still Something Else to Experience at Hawk’s Shadow

We can’t leave this tasting stop without going down into the wine cave at Hawk’s Shadow. It certainly adds to the winery’s charm, wines and views, and the cloistered experience in their wine cave will stay will you long after you. There are other and even larger wine caves, mostly nicely finished in concrete. Giving Hawk’s Shadow a more old thyme feel, the cave was dug into the hillside and left more-or-less natural. This gives it a rugged, natural quality with coarse-chiseled limestone rocks and even some exposed roots. One visitor even commented that in the cave you can hear ground water as it trickles and percolates underground.

Hawk’s Shadow Wine Cave

Remember that you can come to Hawk’s Shadow Winery (click link) anytime you are in need of some wonderful Texas wine that also comes with  a gorgeous view.


Photo credits: Hawk’s Shadow Winery & VintageTexas.com
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Love to taste, talk and tweet about Texas wines and where they are in the global scheme for wines. After all that's the only way they will reach the full potential.

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